German wholesale company’s experience of doing business in Myanmar

07 June 2019                              

METRO Wholesale Myanmar Ltd. is the joint venture with METRO taking 85% stake with 15% share owned by Singapore-listed Yoma Strategic Holdings.

METRO Myanmar was launched in March 2019 to develop a one stop food distribution platform in Myanmar.

Jens Michel, CEO of METRO Myanmar said that opening a business in Myanmar is comparable to doing business in other Southeast Asian nations without having had the economic progression that the other markets are having.

We need to be conscious around the infrastructure, where you position your location geographically to eliminate the inefficiencies.

Central to the wholesale operations in Myanmar is a 5,800-square-metre warehouse in Thilawa where incoming goods are stored and packed in compliance with food safety standards for delivery to customers. Currently, customers across the country can select from over 2,000 products through the firm’s digital platforms including its website and mobile application. Goods are delivered through a third-party logistics service provider with a fleet of temperature-controlled trucks.

“Most of the benefits are part of the Thilawa Special Economic Zone framework. You have access land, long term land lease, you have opportunities for the tax exemption in the early years. For us, what really matters is the transparency we get out of the process in entity of TSEZ,” said Jens Michel.

Distinctive from its operations in other countries, METRO in Myanmar doesn’t run stationary wholesale stores, but provides a virtual “one-stop” convenient shopping experience for customers through e-commerce and delivery systems.

METRO has injected 11 million euros so far as well as loan from IFC to kick off the business in the country.

METRO Myanmar is planning to introduce the mobile app to take its e-commerce to another level momentarily.

Arker Kyaw